A 17-year-old labourer was on Thursday bonded and an 18-year-old Form 4 student, ordered to do community service for theft of items valued at EC$1,669 from a man’s storeroom last July.
The duo was originally charged along with four minors, aged 13 to 17, also from Georgetown, but the charge against the four other accused was withdrawn on Jan. 25.
One of the minors, a 14-year-old youth, is also facing a murder charge that is unrelated to the theft charge.
The defendants were charged that between July 29 and 31, 2023, at Chapmans, Georgetown, they entered the dwelling house of Turnell Medica, of Chapmans, as trespassers and stole a quantity of items valued at EC$1,669, Medica’s property.
The items included a cylinder of cooking gas and two empty cylinders, valued at EC$240; food items including 2lbs of flour, 2lbs rice, one case of juice valued at EC$650, one case of Fruta drink, valued at EC$60, one case of energy drink, valued at EC$80, two cases of malt valued at EC$I80; and toiletries, including deodorant, toothpaste, and four packs of hair wax valued at EC$60.
At their arraignment in August before Magistrate Bertie Pompey, one of the defendants pleaded guilty then changed his plea to not guilty.
Upon hearing this, the magistrate warned the mothers who stood next the defendants’ dock with their children
“I hope the ‘not guilty’ advice didn’t come from any of the parents,” the magistrate said.
“They (the accused) have to know if they are guilty or not. You were not with them,” Pompey further said, adding, “What you think? Because they are juveniles, they [should] plead not guilty?”
The prosecutor, Corporal of Police Delando Charles had no objection to bail and asked that a curfew be imposed.
The magistrate set bail in the sum of EC$800 with one surety and released the minors in the custody of their parents or guardians.
The magistrate also ordered them to observe an 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. until the matter was disposed of and set trial for Sept. 21.
After the magistrate gave the bail terms and asked if the defendants understood, one of them said:
“Your honour, I can’t tek community service or something instead?”
“You’re jumping the gun,” Pompey told the youth and explained that he could not make that determination until their guilt or innocence was determined.
The teen told the magistrate that his living conditions were not the best, adding that his family is poor, sometimes goes without food, and that the house he lives in does not have electricity or water.
The two teens who were sentenced on Thursday subsequently pleaded guilty to the charge.
On Thursday, Charles presented the facts to the Colonarie Magistrate’s Court, sitting at Georgetown.
The prosecutor said that Medica is a wholesale businessman and on July 29, 2023, about 5:30 p.m., he arranged and secured his storeroom.
On July 20, about 6:20 a.m., he returned to the storeroom and noticed some of his goods were missing.
Medica did not report the theft to the police.
However, the next day, about 6:45a.m., when he went back to the storeroom, he realised that a large quantity of his items was missing and reported the matter to the Georgetown Police Station.
Corporal 480 Caesar conducted an investigation, which led to the defendants.
The prosecutor told the court that some of the items were recovered in a storeroom that was not Medica’s.
In mitigation, the student, who was 17 at the time of the offence, told the court:
“We plead guilty to the cause, sir. He carried me,” he told the court, pointing to his co-accused.
“He told me about it and I went along with him and I am sorry for my actions.”
The teen told the magistrate that he was born in St. Vincent and the Grenadines but grew up in Grenada. He said he was transferred from a school in Grenada and continued his education from Form 2 at a secondary school in St. Vincent, where he repeated and is now in Form 4.
The second defendant, in mitigation, told the court, “[He] told me I can go over and take whatever I want. I only went one time because I was hungry, and I went and get something to eat. I never went back after that.”
The defendant, who is now 17, told the court he works sometimes as a labourer.
He said he entered secondary school at age 15 and dropped out at Form 1 in 2022.
“My mummy never used to study me,” he told the court.
He mentioned several places where he lived and school that he attended. “I never got a chance to settle in one place. I wanted to go to Marion House but mummy never used to study me.”
The student is to report to the Georgetown Police Station every Saturday to perform community service either at the Georgetown Modern Medical Complex or the Georgetown Police between 10 a.m. and noon.
The police will determine at which of these facilities he will perform community service for the next six months.
Should the defendant fail to perform the duties assigned to him as community service, he must appear before the magistrate.
The second defendant was bonded to keep the peace for six months. If he breaches the bond, he must pay EC$500 forthwith or serve two months in prison.